10 October 2014

The Differences

I knew that in moving to Ireland I'd experience a certain degree of culture shock. Culture shock might not be the correct term here, since Ireland isn't as different as say, China, but there are some differences. I've rounded up a few here, besides the obvious "they drive on the left side" type of observations. I'd also like to say that obviously these are just a sample my own observations and that it's focused mainly on differences between Dublin and Montreal, the two cities where I have lived, but some of the differences apply to all of Ireland and Canada.
  1. Milk: The norm here is 4% milk or full milk as they call it. You can get 2% milk but it's harder to come by. I discovered this one afternoon when I went to buy milk but there was no more 2% left at the shop. Later that night I tell C, my boyfriend, that there was no more milk at the shop. He wouldn't believe me until I specified that there was no more 2% milk. Which is where I discovered that the norm is 4% and that 2% milk is stocked in lower quantities. (Side-note: I've also seen some milks at 7%!)
  2. Eggs: The first time I went to the groceries to get the basics for our fridge I walked all along the refrigerated sections a good 5 times looking for the eggs. It never occurred to me that they might not be in the refrigerated section. Finally, after having given up, I went down a non-refrigerated aisle, and there they were! Next to bread and spices. You see, everything is so much fresher in Ireland that they eggs don't need to be refrigerated at the supermarket.
  3. Food: In general food here is much fresher and tastier, especially the meat. Animals are grain fed and free range, meaning they're much happier and you can definitely taste it. The labelling on foods is a lot much better. Ingredients are clearly indicated by name and percentages show how much of an ingredient makes up the food you're eating. For anyone with allergies, it's much easier to find problematic ingredients as they're in bold.
  4. Parking: People can park whichever direction they please. See this photo as evidence.
  5. Paper: I asked C to print off some papers for me the other day and when he handed them to me I noticed straight away their odd dimensions. When he assured me he hadn't made a mistake whilst printing, I googled it and sure enough, there's a difference. The paper here is narrower and longer than back in Canada. (The letter size is 8.27" x 11.7" vs. 8.5" x 11".)
  6. Toilets: They're higher up and the handle is on the right side. Let's just say, my bum hurt for a while after I sat on it too hard expecting it to be lower as the toilets are back in Canada.
  7. Horses: In some parts of Dublin it seems to be perfectly acceptable to keep a horse in your backyard. We were driving through the city on the way to Ikea when I spotted a man and his horse chewing grass in his front garden - in the city! I asked C and his Mum about it and they both assured me this was normal. Apparently they keep them in their backyards. And, what I thought most incredible in this story, is that if they live in terrace houses (what Canadians call townhouses) they make the horse go through the inside of house to get to the back garden!
  8. Buses: Many bus stops serve several bus routes so in order to have the bus you want stop you have to hail it down, similarly to hailing a cab. I had never seen this before and C seems to think it's not weird at all. Back in Montreal if two buses share the same stop, you just step back or forward depending on whether you want to get on or if you're waiting for the other bus.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting post! I am surprised their eggs don't need refrigerated. Wish I could keep a horse in my backyard!
    Dresses & Denim